FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 7, 2007
Michigan High School Sports Participation Remains Strong;
EAST LANSING, Mich. – June 7 – A three-year streak of record-setting participation numbers for high school sports by Michigan High School Athletic Association members came to an end during the 2006-07 school year, but just barely.
After again setting new participation highs for both boys and girls a year ago, MHSAA member schools reported that 313,093 participants took part in sports in which the Association sponsors post-season tournaments, falling just short of the record of 313,589 – less than two tenths of one percent.
A razor’s edge also separated girls and boys participation from setting new records. This year, there were 131,500 girls taking part in high school sports, just short of last year’s mark of 131,662; and ending four straight years of growth. The boy’s figure of 181,593 is now second only to last year’s record of 181,927. The totals count students once for each sport in which he or she participates, meaning students who are multiple-sport athletes are counted more than once.
Records for participation were set in ten sports – six for girls and four for boys. Girls competitive cheer and soccer continued consecutive year record-setting streaks that have spanned more than a decade. Soccer topped the 14,000 mark for the first time with 14,171 participants, and cheer saw a 30 percent increase with 7,786 athletes. Girls tennis hit a new high for the third straight year, and records were also set in girls cross country, girls lacrosse and girls bowling.
Boys soccer, lacrosse, cross country and bowling all set new standards in 2006-07. After setting a new record for 11 straight years, ice hockey reached its second highest total ever; football and track and field were other sports which finished number two on their all-time lists after being first a year ago.
The participation figures are gathered annually from MHSAA member schools to submit to the National Federation of State High School Associations for compiling its national participation survey. The results of the national survey from the 2000-01 school year to the present may be viewed on the NFHS Web site – www.nfhs.org. Nationwide results for 2006-07 will be available later this summer. Results of Michigan survey from the 2000-01 school year to the present may be viewed on the MHSAA Web site – www.mhsaa.com – and clicking on Administrators under the Users Sections heading.
The following chart shows participation figures for the 2006-07 school year from MHSAA member schools in sports in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament:
(A) The first number is the number of schools, reporting sponsorship on the Sports Participation Survey. The second number indicates the total number of participating schools in MHSAA tournaments, including number of additional schools participating in the sport through cooperative programs, as of May 29, 2007. The third number indicates the number of schools that had girls playing on teams consisting primarily of boys.
(B)The second number indicates the number of additional girls playing on teams consisting primarily of boys and entered in boys competition.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,700 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.
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